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Answering The Dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself” Question

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

It’s internship and job hunting season, folks. And guess what that means? 


You get about a minute to sum up everything that you are in a likable, hirable and succinct way (and also can’t reference your resume or job qualifications). “But who are you really?” 


I can’t give you the perfect guide for how to answer this question, but I can provide some tips based on my past experience with the dreaded question. 

Be Yourself

Never mold who you are around a company. Interviews are two-way streets and you’re seeing how they fit with you just as much as how you fit with them. So, be honest and talk about the things that really matter to you. 

Don’t talk about things they already know or can see from your application.

This can be a difficult one, especially because we’re taught to fit in little snippets about prior experience that makes you the “perfect” candidate. But, when it comes down to it, they ask this question to get to know the real you, not the you on paper. 


My advice for this one is to establish ahead of time a few things that matter most to you. I will say that it’s okay to talk about the industry you’re looking to be in, as long as you talk about the why. For example, I usually like to mention that PR is powerful and something I’m really passionate about because I get the opportunity to work with people and represent companies or causes that inspire me. 


Use these prompts to get some inspiration: 

– If I had an hour of free time, what would I be doing? 

– What wakes me up in the morning? 

– What do people remember me by? Or what comes to mind when people think of me? 

– How would my friends and family describe me? 

– What common themes have carried me through my life? 

Plan for the question and prepare accordingly.

The key to getting through this question is to be confident in your answer before you even have to give it. Think through the above prompt questions and formulate the ideal response. 

Sometimes, the organization of your response can make or break it too. If it seems like you’re rambling or going off in tangents, you’ll seem unsure of yourself. And if you don’t know who you are, how do you expect employers to know you well enough to take a chance on you?